Customers Are Making Giant Strides Using Oracle Applications
By MT:15 on Oct 19, 2007
I've never understood this. Why do customers pay so much attention when listening to another customer's experience? You would draw the conclusion that this is somehow more interesting than our sales presentations with Powerpoints!
At the 2007 HEUG Alliance Conference, and in many instances since then, I have been impressed by examples of Oracle's customers who are achieving improvements in efficiency, and supporting the academic mission, of their colleges and universities.
A great and generous offer was made by University of Central Florida when they opened their doors for a 2-day showcase event attended by two dozen customers from around the globe. As you can see on UCF's website, this was splendid recognition of jobs well done by their staff in multiple upgrade/expansion projects.
Dr. Joel Hartman, Vice Provost for Information Tecnologies and Resources at UCF presented to the group about the history and present achivement of their ERP project (PeopleSoft v 8.9):
Joel received grins and applause with this slide:
That was his bridge to some great screen shots about UCF's executive dashboard!
On behalf of Oracle and the many customers who were guests, our heartiest thanks go to UCF for the showcase event, and congratulations on your achievements.
Final note about University of Central Florida -- read more about Becky's contribution in this article:
Stay on the ERP Treadmill!
By Joseph C. Panettieri
Enterprise resource planning systems are not easy to evolve, but regular upgrades will pay big dividends.
"All that began to change in 1999, when the university deployed a new student admissions system from PeopleSoft (now owned by Oracle). Next up, UCF deployed a modern student financials system from the same vendor. But, importantly, the process did not stop there: UCF has continued regular PeopleSoft upgrades over the last few years. According to Rebecca Vilsack, UCF's associate controller, the system has now evolved to a point where it has streamlined requisition and purchase order processes, enhanced purchasing card and vendor tracking information, increased reporting capabilities, eliminated unnecessary paper trails, and minimized redundant procedures."
It is also rewarding when one of our customer institutions in the Oracle family is recognized for excellence:
President Juan Olivarez related to me how the effectiveness of the IT organization, under CIO Ray Neff, was very key to winning this award. GRCC recently upgraded to Campus Solutions 8.9 and concentrated on usability feedback, including student user testing, to get those great results.
This has to be a record in the modern era. How many award recipients for the coveted 2007 CIO 100 recognition do you suppose are customers of Oracle Higher Education application systems?
If you said "two," well, you are way wrong! How about four Higher Ed executives, standing alongside the Ratheons, Best Buys, and Hiltons?
Congratulations to these well-deserving award winners, who were nominated by their customers, peers, and vendor-partners:
Vince Kellen of DePaul University
Robin Beck of U-Penn
Erin Griffin of Loyola Marymount University
Tracy Futhey of Duke University
Vince was featured in the narrative article about CIOs and organizational change. Figures, since Vince is a former consultant! He is practical, too; get this quote:
"Kellen's biggest problem was the guy who hired him. His method for managing his demanding and results-hungry boss? 'I kept my list of goals in one pocket and my resignation letter in the other,' says Kellen."
Reminds me of the old joke about "make out three envelopes..."
Knowing each of these individuals personally, and their organizations as well, it is worthwhile to remind all readers. When the CIO receives such an award, it is really also recognition for the spirit and the hard work that surrounds them: their key functional users, the IT leads, their customers and executive sponsors. No man is an island.
A higher challenge for us all as the Information Generation
Oracle representatives had a very interesting guest speaker at our 2008 kickoff in Las Vegas. It was the young man who relaced the Huntley-Brinkley Report. I observed that Tom Brokaw has followed my fashion lead by dying his hair grey. I was looking forward to getting an update from Tom on the daily news, but instead he related his broad perspective about the force of information technology and its yet to be determined impact on our interpersonal relations and our lifetime achievement potential.
During Tom's presentation, he shared legendary tales of individuals from what Tom calls the Greatest Generation -- Americans who grew up during the Depression and then served in World War II. Tom then turned his attention to today's IT generation.
"Technology is organic to the current generation because they're growing up with it," Tom said. "The risk, however, is that our youth will think that life is a virtual experience -- to solve poverty, just hit Help; to solve global warming, hit Escape; and to have a relationship, send a text message. Technology is a great tool, but will do little good if we short-circuit our souls."
Tom also noted, "I've been a keen student of IT since the beginning. It gives me satisfaction to know we can still innovate in this country and reinvent ourselves."
He closed by saying he hopes that when his granddaughter writes a book about us 45 years from now, that she'll be able to report that we had the IT tools and we used them well.
Let's all get to work on that book by Tom's granddaughter!